Pharaoh Harsiese: Part Two
So happy you enjoyed part one! Here’s part two as promised! Hope you enjoy and leave me some feedback! Tell me if you want a part three! It means the world! x
I gaze off the balcony to the courtyard full of frantic servants as they rush to prepare the palace for the wedding of a lifetime. So many things have happened in the past few days after Harsiese suddenly chose me to be his wife and queen instead of my sister. It was chaotic, confusing, and I was beginning to get overwhelmed.
Every few minutes, someone would rush by asking if I needed new linens or perfume. I was asked if I needed spiced wine to calm my nerves and I may have taken a sip or two.
I was going to be queen while my sister, the one with all the training and lessons, was thrown aside and probably planning my death as we speak. She hadn’t spoken to be since that night and though she was unbearable, I was still upset about it.
“Senit,” a hand is suddenly placed on my shoulder making me jump. Turning quickly, I sigh in relief when I see it’s just my father. I’m surprised I didn’t hear his sandals tap against the alabaster floor as he walked towards me. I guess I was too far into thought to notice. “It’s time to get ready.”
I nod and link my arm with his as we make our way down to my chamber. Passing the hallway to Pharaoh Harsiese’s chamber, I pause for a lingering stare. He’s probably in there now getting ready for our wedding. Who knows what will happen in the nights that are my turn to spend in his chamber. Who knows what memories have already happened in the room with Bahiti. Will I have much to live up to or will I be the one setting the mark?
I try to even my anxious breaths at my thoughts as I begin to walk faster, ignoring my father’s curious stares as I walk ahead of him.
Entering my chamber, I am immediately swept away by my body servants and guided into the hot bathing pool. Warm, thick, sweet smelling oils are massaged into my skin as I try to relax and calm my mind.
Once I am finished bathing, they help me into a beaded faience dress before lining my eyes with rich, black kohl and color my lips with red rouge, just like the night I met Pharaoh. I am silent as they brush and braid my hair with intricate designs.
They were told that Harsiese loved my long, dark, wavy hair natural and not a Nubian wig. Where he saw me without my wig was beyond me but making Pharaoh happy was my only goal. Carefully, they place the queen’s diadem on my head before stepping back and admiring their work.
“You are ready,” my main body servant, Halima, says as we all share a secret smile.
“I am nervous,” I whisper as she hooks a necklace around my neck, the heavy gold weighing down on my skin as I gently place my hand on the statue beside me, thinking hard.
“Don’t be. Rumors have spread to the commoners that you are the reincarnation of Isis herself and can heal Egypt with the touch of your hand, even Pharaoh thinks so. I hear he thinks you are even more beautiful than Bahiti and are going to be replacing her as chief wife already,” she says as my eyes widen in disbelief.
Bahiti was gorgeous and had been his wife for many years. I had only met him one time and he was already making me chief wife. How badly did he hate Bahiti for not giving him another child?
My breathing thickens as my mind wanders. What if I couldn’t give Harsiese a son? Would I be humiliated and thrown to the side like Bahiti? I pray not.
Please, I pray to Bastet, the goddess of fertility, when the time comes give Harsiese and I a healthy son who will rule all of Egypt like his father.
A knock happens at the door and my father peeks his head in. “It’s time,” is all he says before I am swept away once again into the halls where I connect arms with my father. My sister is at his other side and I fight myself to not meet her heavy glare. Instead, I hold my head high as we slowly make it to the main entrance of the palace where Pharaoh awaited.
“In a moment, you will see more commoners than you have ever seen. They have come from Upper and Lower Egypt to see the new queen be crowned. Stay close to Harsiese. He and the guard will keep you safe for you are their future queen.” I nod at my father’s words as I go over the coronation in my head.
The Royal court will be carried in open litters through the streets as Harsiese and I will be the only ones on foot. It was tradition for the king and queen to walk through the crowds and city to Pharaohs barge, that is a gorgeous sight as its gold pennants glittered on the waters of the Nile as the Egyptian sun beat down on it, where we will sail to Karnak and go to the temple where we will be crowned. Today, I and my family would ascend to immortality. Our names carved into stone as we will be worshiped like gods for eternity.
I could see the tenseness in the guards as they look out at the large, loud, growing crowd as I see Harsiese and angry, cold looking Bahiti waiting at the doors. Harsiese took my breath away in an instant with his undeniable ability to look like a god himself as he turns and our eyes connect.
He grins ear to ear, moving away from Bahiti as he outstretches his hand to grab mine. He towered over me with a presence of pure power and excellence that I had to fight my instinct to bow before him.
“Miw-Sher,” he sweetly whispers as he leans down and places his forehead against mine. I become entranced by his vibrant, viridescent green eyes as they gaze into my own with a look of gentleness and adoration. It surprised me how he looked at me after only meeting me once. “You look beautiful, my little cat.”
“Thank you,” is all I can whisper back as I smile gratefully before we are escorted out. Loud cheers and roars of the people fill my ears and I can barely hear my father say, “May Amum be with you,” before his words are covered by the thousands of people’s passions.
“NAFRETIRI! LONG LIVE NAFRETIRI! LONG LIVE THE QUEEN! NAFRETIRI!”
“LONG LIVE HARSIESE! LONG LIVE THE PHARAOH! HARSIESE!”
In shock, I smile as wave as Harsiese and I walk hand in hand down the streets as the guards pushed and held the people back from swarming us. Glancing over at my soon to be husband, I see him watching in amazement and astonishment as they cheer for us. It was like we were beloved gods to them. They reached for our robes and dresses so they too could live forever.
Even at Harsiese’s and Bahiti’s coronation, the crowds and cheers were half the size and sound. It was amazing and I felt powerful and loved as they cheered and shouted their adoration for me.
Looking at the glow of love on Harsiese’s face, I suddenly feel overwhelmed with pride for my husband and hold his hand in mine high in the air as I stop and face the crowds. “YOUR BELOVED PHARAOH!” I shout and proclaim loud enough for Amun and Osiris to hear and in an instant, the crowds become wild and barely tamable as the guards tried their hardest to hold them back.
Harsiese gently squeezes my hand and I barely notice as he looks down at me taken aback and astonished as the guards quickly escort us onto the barge before the thousands of people could reach us.
The entire short ride to Karnak, which was a walking distance away, Harsiese and I exchange gentle smiles and adoring gazes. I could already feel myself falling under his spell as I watch as he stared at the glistening, clear waters of the Nile.
Soon, we reach the banks of Karnak and once again are met with cheering, screaming crowds of our people as the limestone temple loomed as the shrines of the Elders towered above. The sun spilled across the sand and as we enter the temple, the air became cool as the shouts of our names were blocked out. The only sound was trickling water and sandaled footsteps slapping against the stone floor as the temple boys held candles and burning incense. The royal court followed behind us silently and the shaven headed priests of Amun stand at the top of the dais, waiting for us.
My skin shone like liquid amber and the gold cuffs on Harsiese’s arms sparkled as the lit lamps flickered as a cool draft swept through the temple. I almost giggle at the sight of the priest’s bald heads glistening in the light. Setting me at ease, I listen to Harsiese’s calm, deep breaths as I force myself to calm my quickening heartbeat. For a moment, I wonder how he’s so collected but then I remember he’s been through this before with the woman who was currently glaring holes into the side of my head.
Sensing my panic, Harsiese lightly squeezes my hand again as he helps me up the dais, my father and sister standing to the side as Harsiese and I stand before the priests.
“Behold,” the high priest begins as my breathing speeds up once again. “Amum has called upon us to exalt Harsiese the Magnificent and his new queen. From east to west, north to south, in Upper and Lower Egypt, there will be celebration because of this day,” he lifts a gold jar of anointed oil as he stands over us. “Amun pours his blessing over you,” the high priests speaks as he pours the warm oils over mine and Harsiese’s heads.
The thick oils spilled and dripped through my hair and damped my gown as he grabs our hands and leads us to the sacred pool. Pulling us into the water, he washes away the oil as everything becomes silent as the court stands with bated breath. Mine and Harsiese’s eyes meet as we both stand from our knees and intertwine our hands again, our bodies soaking wet and weighed down by heavy robes and dresses. I smile thankfully as Harsiese gently reaches forward and tucks a wild, wet strand of hair behind my ear with a grin.
“King Harsiese and Queen Nafretiri,” the priest says as everything hits me. I am now Queen of Egypt, wife to Harsiese the Magnificent. “May Amun watch over you and grant you a long, healthy life together.”
Shocking me, Harsiese leans over and ghosts his lips across my cheek before they meet the lobe of my ear. His breath is steady and hot as it cascades down my neck. “Miw-Sher, my queen, my Nafretiri,” his voice saying my name sounded like melted honey as I placed my hand on his bicep. “I told you you would be mine.” He says before his lips capture my own in a passionate embrace, taking my first kiss, as his arms wrap around my waist. I inhale sharply as I grab onto his robe and kiss back just as hard as quiet gasps and whispers fill the temple from the court.
Now, my goal is to become pregnant with his heir, a son. My son will be the next king of Egypt or else, I will die.